Final Conference: For Cleaner Air and Climate Protection - Reducing Agricultural Methane Emissions

11 July 2022

Mitigating methane emissions from all relevant sources is essential to comply with the Paris Agreement and to achieve the goals under the European Green Deal. Furthermore, it is an important component to reduce air pollution, as methane is a precursor of harmful ground-level ozone. However, given the short-term lifetime of methane in the atmosphere, a significant reduction of methane emissions has short-term benefits for the climate – and the power to avoid reaching irreversible tipping points in climate change.

At our final conference in Brussels, we discussed the current course for a sustainable reduction of agricultural methane emissions and tooka look at the "Windows of Opportunity" that European policy is currently providing us.




Conference: Seizing opportunities - overcoming crises: For clean air and climate protection in agriculture

9 June 2022

Climate change, the Corona pandemic, the war in Ukraine - all these crises also pose unforeseen challenges to agriculture and especially to young farmers.

From the new German government to environmental and farmers' associations, the reduction of animal places and a change in animal husbandry practices are described as the most effective measures to address both the climate crisis and the price misery on many farms. Model studies show how agroecological innovation could be implemented in Europe. But what are the concrete ways to do this in Germany? What ideas and what needs do young farmers have? What do education and extension services contribute to supporting farmers in their transformation? How can the transfer of knowledge from pioneering farms to the wider community? What political guidelines are needed for clean air and more climate protection, especially in times of crisis?

Invitation to conference



Expert discussion on the topic: Animal welfare and immission control in cattle farming

21 April 2022

The education and consulting of livestock farmers in Germany covers numerous aspects of specialization. Less well illuminated are the synergies when immission control and animal welfare in cattle farming are thought together. The DUH would like to make these synergies practically tangible with an expert discussion.
What are the differences in the frameworks for considering and evaluating animal husbandry methods? Which husbandry methods contribute to the reduction of methane and ammonia emissions in more animal-friendly production processes? Are synergies between animal welfare and air pollution control addressed in training and education?


Expert talk on Methane Mitigation in Agriculture – How can EU policy contribute?

1 December 2021

Climate protection urges for addressing methane emissions, including from the agricultural sector. The global methane pledge has set the course and must be implemented by signing states now defining specific targets and measures for the sector. So far, however, there are no binding targets for methane reduction in the agricultural sector at EU level. Therefore, we discussed how agricultural methane could be addressed by EU policy.




Briefing on Air Pollution From the Agricultural Sector and Advocacy Opportunities for NGOs

19 October 2021

This briefing offers comprehensive advice to NGOs on how best to tackle agricultural air pollution, via the main relevant policies of the National CAP Strategic Plans and the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), with also a link to the Zero Pollution Action Plan.


briefing (ENGLISH)



Economic instruments for a sustainable transformation of the livestock sector

31 August 2021

In addition to regulatory measures, economic instruments are necessary for the transformation of German livestock farming. The Borchert approach to promoting animal welfare in agriculture is not sufficient to also bring about compliance with emission ceilings. We have commissioned a study to examine which instruments are best suited for this purpose. The study was presented at an international expert meeting on 31 August, where further speakers reported on examples and experiences from the implementation of taxes on food and instruments to reduce animal numbers. Members of relevant German ministries and authorities, as well as EU parliamentarians, exchanged with representatives from science, NGOs and politics from at least 11 European countries.




Effective ways to mitigate ammonia and methane emissions in agriculture

17 June 2021

With the position paper "Air pollution control in German agriculture - effective ways to reduce ammonia and methane emissions" published today, the Lake Constance Foundation, together with IG-Gesunde Gülle, makes demands on German agricultural and environmental policy.


Position paper (German)



Workshop on the national implementation of the EU Common Agricultural Policy after 2020

04 March 2021
The reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) from Brussels does not appear to be groundbreaking, but it does give member states more leeway in developing National Strategic Plans (NSPs). How can the German leeway be used to strengthen environmental and climate protection in the national implementation of the CAP? We discussed this in a workshop discussion together with representatives from science, associations and politics.


Recommendations for air pollution control in the food industry

Feb 2021

Air quality control is not only an environmental issue but also a precondition for production processes, services and quality-of-life. The Lake Constance Foundation elaborated criteria for effective air pollution control in food standards and procurement requirements of food companies and retailers.


REad More



False ceilings: most EU governments falling short of air pollution targets

21 Dec 2020

EU laws obliges member states to slash air pollution, but a troubling new report reveals that most national governments are failing in their duty to protect public health and the environment.





National Air Pollution Control Programmes: analysis and suggestions for the way forward

17 Dec 2020

The EEB report looks into member states’ action to implement the National Emission Ceilings (NEC) Directive at the national level, and provides tools and recommendations for the way forward.





Three quarters of EU urban population exposed to toxic air as governments fail to cut emissions

EEB press release

23 Nov 2020

Poor air quality can make us more vulnerable to pandemics. Most Europeans living in cities are still breathing air that is dangerous to their health, confirms the European Environment Agency (EEA) in a new report released today, but governments are not doing enough to cut toxic emissions at source, campaigners warn.





International day against food waste: petition delivery

29 September 2020
For the International Day against Food Waste, we remind Food Minister Julia Klöckner of her duties. By 2030, food waste is to be halved across the EU. An important lever to achieve the goal is the reduction of legal uncertainties in food donation and transfer. Over 94,000 supporters* agree with us: Julia Klöckner must finally act and enable food rescue.
Link to the petition

link to petition


Feedback zur Roadmap für eine EU Methan Strategy

5. August 2020

Die Europäische Kommission hat eine Roadmap für eine EU Methan Strategie veröffentlicht. Darin beschreibt sie einen Sektor übergreifenden Ansatz,der sowohl Methanemissionen aus der Landwirtschaft, der Abfallwirtschaft sowei der Öl- und Gasindustrie reduzieren will. Die DUH begrüßt dies in ihrer Stellungnahme und fordert zu sofortigen Maßnahmen zur Minderung von Methan aus der Landwirtschaft auf.

Download Feedback


A EU methane strategy to reduce emissions from agriculture

29 Jul 2020

The EEB sumitted a position to the European Commission’s DG AGRI on the urgency to establish binding measures to cut methane emissions from farming.





Covid-19 must inspire us to clean up the air we breathe

3 July 2020

Poor air quality can make us more vulnerable to pandemics. That is why taking on air pollution today will help us make the post-corona world of tomorrow healthier, safer and more resilient, and farming has a role to play.





Virtual round tables

Bodensee-Stiftung lädt ein

26/30 June 2020
In order to strengthen the dialogue between agriculture, the food industry and environmental organizations, several roundtables are being organized as part of the Clean Air Farming project. On June 26 and 30, the first roundtables were held in virtual form.



Federal award "Too good for the garbage can!"

Instead of providing legal certainty, BMEL rests on volunteers

26 May 2020
On the occasion of the federal prize "Too good for the garbage can!" awarded on May 28, 2020, foodsharing and Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) criticize Food Minister Julia Klöckner: Instead of creating a secure legal framework for food rescue in Germany, she is resting on the commitment of the initiatives with the federal prize. Yet the situation has been massively exacerbated by the current Corona crisis.

PRESSE release


Age is a matter of opinion: Facts about the best-before date

On average, every eighth food item in German households is thrown away. One in four of these ends up in the garbage can because the "best before" date has expired.

Download Factsheet

Food rescue hampered by Corona crisis

Deutsche Umwelthilfe und Foodsharing fordern sofortige Rechtssicherheit

9 April 2020
The rapid spread of the Corona pandemic is putting pressure on food supplies in Germany. The hoarding of food is further complicating the situation. Right now, it is absolutely irresponsible for edible food to end up in the garbage can.
With Clean Air Farming we fight for more appreciation for food to reduce emissions in the long run.

sign our petition now


"Farm to Fork" Strategy

Participation in the public consultation process

16 March 2020
European food is known for being safe, nutritious and of high quality. Now they should also become the global standard for sustainability. To this end, the European Commission is developing the "Farm to Fork" strategy as a key component of the EU Green Deal. During the public consultation process, we also developed comments on more ambitious targets.

read our comments here



Expert discussion "Legal framework for the transfer of food"

The extent of food waste in Germany is unacceptable from both an environmental and a social point of view.

19 February 2020

With more than 50 participants from science, consumer protection, food rescue initiatives, trade and politics, we discussed obstacles and solutions of legal frameworks for the transfer of rescued food.



Expectations on a revised Gothenburg Protocol

12 Dec 2019

The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) calls on the Parties to the amended Gothenburg Protocol to initiate the review with the explicit objective to quickly revise and strengthen the Protocol.





Six things our governments (and the EU) can do to improve air quality

28 Nov 2019

This week European air quality experts are meeting in Bratislava for the European Commission’s second Clean Air Forum. While air quality in Europe is slowly improving, 90% of people living in urban areas in the EU are breathing illegal levels of air pollution, and campaigners warn national governments are doing to little, too slow.





Too good to go - Meet the booming app that's cutting food waste one meal at a time

14 Oct 2019

According to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), food waste has a global carbon footprint of about 8% of all global greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans. If food waste was a country, it would be the third biggest carbon emitter after the US and China. The waste of milk and meat products is particularly problematic: in Germany, the meat and dairy which end up in the garbage every year account for over 6% of the country’s methane emissions.

READ the full story



International World Food Day

Deutsche Umwelthilfe and Bündnis Lebensmittelrettung call for more appreciation of foodstuffs

Monday, 14/10/2019
Deutsche Umwelthilfe and Bündnis Lebensmittelrettung call for end to food waste, revised best-before date and throwaway stop for supermarkets on World Food Day on Oct. 16 - Consumers take action against food waste with hashtag #notmyMHD

LINK to press release



Reducing Methane Emissions - For cleaner air and climate

Conference by Clean Air Farming at Science14, Brussels, 7 Nov 2019

The European Union is facing a period full of challenges and opportunities in relation to fighting climate change and protecting our environment.
President-elect Ursula von der Leyen committed to both make Europe a climate-neutral continent and to deliver environmental and health protection. A necessary step to take in order to achieve both objectives is to tackle methane emissions, which are not only accelerating climate change but are also responsible for the formation of ground-level ozone. The conference brings together policy makers, scientists and civil society representatives to exchange knowledge, explore solutions and identify opportunities to reduce methane emissions from all sources. 

>> Download agenda here <<

Please register as soon as possible and by 31 October 2019 at the latest.



8th Global Nitrogen Conference of the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI2020) in Berlin from 3 – 7 May 2020

„Nitrogen and the UN Sustainable Development Goals“

The 8th conference of the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI 2020) will be the meeting point for scientists from all over the world who are dealing with reactive nitrogen compounds in agriculture, industry, traffic, soil, water and air. It will be the place to exchange results, ideas and visions to improve future holistic management of reactive nitrogen in order to further reduce hunger and poverty and at the same time avoid further hazards for human health, biodiversity and environmental media. It will be a perfect opportunity to engage with important policy makers and other relevant stakeholders to stimulate further policy measures for effective integrated nitrogen management.

More Information


Amended Gothenburg protocol on air pollution control enters into force

Deutsche Umwelthilfe demands update for more health and climate protection

Monday, 07/10/2019
Amended Gothenburg Protocol on transboundary air pollution control enters into force today - Original agreement was intended to reduce acidification, eutrophication and ground-level ozone and was revised in 2012 - Deutsche Umwelthilfe calls for immediate reissue for more health and climate protection

LINK to press release



Most EU governments failed to file air pollution plans by April deadline

30 April 2019

EU officials are still waiting to receive crucial air pollution reduction programmes from fourteen EU governments, including France, Germany, Poland and Spain.

National governments were supposed to detail how they planned to reduce emissions of harmful air pollution in ‘National Air Pollution Control Programmes’, which should have been sent to the European Commission this month. However, only 13 of the EU’s 28 Member States had filed their plans by the end of April.

READ the press release!


foodsharing Festival 2019

The foodsharing festival will take place from 16 - 18 August 2019


The festival brings together people who are or want to be involved in the fight against food waste. The aim of foodsharing - an end to food waste - will be brought to the attention of the public and highlighted in the context of sustainable development and a colourful supporting programme for young and old. In workshops, at a panel discussion or on the Market of Opportunities, all participants will be able to inform themselves, exchange ideas and have fun. As partners, we will actively participate in shaping the programme. We will contribute our political demands and insights to the political panel discussion. On the market of possibilities we get directly into conversation with interested parties and inform about possibilities to become active against food waste.

more information

Federal government sleeps on national clean air program

By the April 1 deadline, the German government was unable to agree on a viable national clean air program.
To protect human health and ecosystems, Germany must cut ammonia by 5 percent by 2020, or at least 29 percent by 2030. This also requires measures to reduce the precursor gas methane. Together with the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union Germany, we are therefore addressing Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze in an open letter and calling on the German government to present an effective and ambitious package of measures as quickly as possible.

read our letter to Svenja Schulze



Governments criticised for dragging feet over air pollution

Most EU governments have failed to submit by the first of April deadline National Air Pollution Control Programmes (NAPCPs) for meeting national 2020 and 2030 reduction targets set out in the EU’s National Emission Ceilings (NEC) Directive, the EU executive has confirmed.

“The Commission is following this exercise very closely and has sent a letter on 10 April to all Member States who had not submitted yet on that date, asking for information and reminding Member States of their obligation,” an EU official told ENDS.

However 15 governments - Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain - have yet to submit their plans by the legal deadline.

All EU members are required to submit their NAPCPs outlining progress to date and reviewing their policy priorities in a range of areas such as compliance with the air quality objectives, emission reduction measures for black carbon, and a reduction trajectory.

The EU executive, assisted by the European Environment Agency (EEA), is required to examine the programmes in the light of the Directive's requirements, which establishes reduction targets for a range of pollutants, before issuing guidelines to governments.

Specialists at the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) who are monitoring and contributing to the development of the NAPCPs expressed concern over the delay in their finalisation. “Every day of delay in cutting air pollution means more people suffering the consequences for their health,” clean air policy officer Margherita Tolotto said.

“With just weeks to go until the European elections we are reminded why EU oversight is so important,” she added. “We need the EU to hold [governments] to account.”

Last year the EU executive referred France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania, and the UK to the European Court of Justice for persistent breaches of legislation on air pollution limits.

The NEC directive sets absolute caps on emissions of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), ammonia (NH3) and non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), although governments are allowed to request limits be increased under certain circumstances.

Read the press release

Farmers experiences: air quality in dairy farming

28 July 2022

In Europe, more than 50% of methane emissions and 90% of ammonia emissions come from agriculture. However, certain good practices can reduce these emissions and preserve air quality. Isabelle and Rodolphe Doineau, dairy farmers in Mayenne, tell us about the evolution of their farm.




Fair prices for milk production - An interview with a farmer

5 July 2022

Milk producers in Germany often face major challenges. Especially for smaller farms, the profitability of production is a sticking point. We take a closer look at the challenges small dairy farms facing in particular. We interviewed a farmer who gave up dairy farming because it was no longer viable for him.




Campaign launch "Ackern für die Tonne" with State Secretary Manuela Rottmann

02 May 2022

On 02 May 2022, the symbolic food waste awareness day, foodsharing e.V. and Deutsche Umwelthilfe launched a new campaign on the issue of waste in the agricultural sector. In an accompanying expressive event, political demands and a symbolic crooked carrot were handed over to the State Secretary.


Report campaign Launch "ackern für die Tonne"



Change in the Air: Promising Direction for Air Convention Protocol Revision

13 December 2021

The 41st session of the UNECE Air Convention saw the winds blowing in the right direction for a revision of the Gothenburg Protocol – but more must be done to better protect the health of people and the environment from agricultural air pollution.





Expert talk on the topic: Animal welfare and immission control - A dream team for the barn of the future

8 December 2022

The education and consulting of livestock farmers in Germany covers various aspects for the further development of husbandry systems. Less well illuminated are those concepts that promote synergies of immission control and animal welfare in pig farming. With this expert discussion, Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) aims to identify synergies between air pollution control and animal welfare and to refute alleged conflicts of objectives. In addition, the working paper "Species-appropriate outdoor climate housing" for pigs will be discussed, where concrete recommendations for licensing authorities on how to deal with the requirements of TA Luft No. regarding quality-assured housing methods that demonstrably serve animal welfare" - will be presented.


Working Paper

Report (GERMAN)

New EU targets against food waste

29 October 2021

As part of the Farm to Fork strategy, legally binding targets to reduce food waste are being developed at EU level. These targets are aimed at limiting the impact of the food supply chain on the environment and climate by reducing waste. We took a closer look at how these targets should best be set.

 DUH Position (ENGLISCH)

Lecture on climate impact of food waste

13 October 2021

Online event as part of the lecture series "Münchner Klimaherbst".

to the event

Tips against food waste for consumers

28 September 2021
Even as an individual, there are many ways to do something against food waste. Deutsche Umwelthilfe has summarized the best tips and tricks for Bank & Umwelt, the Umweltbank blog.


Methane: Short-Term Gains vs Long-Term Pains

26 August 2021

The IPCC report published in August thrusts into the spotlight methane (CH4), the second biggest contributor to climate change after carbon dioxide (CO2), capable of trapping heat at a higher rate than any other greenhouse gases. This special attention given to the previously overlooked methane, could very well mark a shift in policy and public focus from CO2 to CH4.  





Effective ways to mitigate ammonia and methane emissions in agriculture

17 June 2021

Radolfzell am Bodensee: With the position paper "Air pollution control in German agriculture - effective ways to reduce ammonia and methane emissions" published today, the Lake Constance Foundation, together with IG-Gesunde Gülle, makes demands on German agricultural and environmental policy.

To the Positionpaper

EU Green Week partner event on methane and black carbon

25 May 2021

This year’s EU Green Week was dedicated to the ‘zero pollution ambition’ of the European Green Deal. In this context, Environmental Action Germany (Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V., DUH) organised a virtual partner event to underline the relevance of the SLCPs methane and black carbon for climate, clean air and health. Experts from science and from politics (EU Commission and Parliament) presented insights and their perspecitves on the topic. Two working groups with fruitful discussions have identified ways of where and how to improve policy frameworks for the reduction of the harmful gases.




Expert talk on reducing food discards in fields

06 April 2021

Food waste already occurs at the very beginning of the value chain at the producers in agriculture. Product-specific quality requirements and other market conditions are the causes of avoidable food losses in primary production. We have taken a closer look at the interface between agricultural production and trade.

to the report

Demand paper on retailers' responsibility in reducing food waste

18 March 2021
Retailers, as the interface between production and consumption, play a central role when it comes to reducing food waste along the food supply chain.

To the demand paper

Written hearing on food waste

11 January 2021
Deutsche Umwelthilfe was asked to submit a statement as part of the written hearing of the Interior and Legal Affairs Committee of the Schleswig-Holstein State Parliament. Our conclusion: in order to achieve the stated goal of halving food waste by 2030 (SDG 12.3), what is needed above all is a mix of political measures to tackle the multiple causes of food waste in the food system.

DUH statement

False ceilings: Only Belgium and Slovakia are on track to meet EU air pollution targets, report finds

EEB press release

18 Dec 2020

All of the EU’s member states but two have failed to show how they will slash air pollution to comply with the emissions limits set out in the EU’s National Emission Ceilings Directive, a troubling new report finds. This puts in peril public health and Europe’s efforts to combat air pollution.





Trilogue negotiations new CAP

16 December 2020
On the occasion of tomorrow's upcoming trilogue negotiations on the future of EU agricultural support, Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) is calling on the EU Commission, the EU Parliament and the EU Agriculture Council to propose solutions on how to bring the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in line with the objectives of the EU Green Deal. The negotiations will be chaired for the last time by Julia Klöckner, who will continue to chair the Agriculture Council until the end of December as part of the German Council Presidency.


Three quarters of EU city dwellers breathe toxic air

26 Nov 2020

A new report on air quality in Europe shows that the EU is behind schedule reducing pollution, despite improvements. And the consequences are dramatic.





EU strategy is failing to tackle the biggest methane emitter: agriculture

13 Oct 2020

No reduction targets, no mandatory actions to cut methane emissions at farm level, no coherence with existing climate and air quality objectives: these are some reasons why the European Commission’s Methane Strategy will fall short.





EU methane strategy still not enough

10 September 2020

Deutsche Umwelthilfe calls for binding measures for less climate-damaging methane from agriculture and energy. The improvement of the data basis and voluntary measures planned so far are a gift to industry. The pursued cross-sectoral approach, on the other hand, is strongly welcomed.

PRESS release


How EU food waste can be effectively tackled

13 July 2020
The German Council Presidency must send a clear signal against food waste in Europe. In the EU, 88 million tons of food are thrown away every year. Associated with this throwaway culture is the senseless loss of natural resources, emissions and environmental pollution caused by an intensive agricultural model. Here's hoping: the European Green Deal, as part of its "Farm to Fork" strategy, takes up the reduction of food waste as an important lever for a sustainable food system in Europe.

read more


Using the German EU Presidency to focus on nature-friendly agriculture

Deutsche EU Ratspräsidentschaft nutzen und naturverträgliche Landwirtschaft fokussieren

30 June 2020
On the eve of Germany taking over the EU Council Presidency, Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) presents a comprehensive concept for the ecological restructuring of German and European agricultural policy.

Download Position paper



Most member states are failing to protect citizens from toxic air

EEB press release

26 Jun 2020

Nearly all member states must step up their effort to cut air pollution and ensure citizens can breathe clean air, states the European Commission in a new assessment published today.





Deutsche Umwelthilfe files lawsuit

Effective national air pollution control program must be established

26 May 2020
Germany's current action plan falls well short of binding EU targets for reducing air pollutants ammonia (NH3), particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). The NLRP is designed to ensure compliance with the European National Emission Ceilings Directive (NEC). More stringent measures are needed, especially in the transport, coal and wood-fired sectors, and in animal husbandry. The international organization ClientEarth supports the lawsuit.

read more


Food waste

The dumbest problem in the world? Fact sheet

If food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.




EU Commission presents Farm to Fork strategy

Big shot fails to materialize

20. Mai 2020

With the Farm to Fork Strategy presented today, the EU has set an important course for an agriculture and nutrition that is compatible with nature and accepted by society. However, the projects and defined reduction targets for pesticides and fertilizers can only be truly effective if they are implemented in a binding manner.

PRESS release


8. Weltstickstoffkonferenz der Internationalen Stickstoffinitiative (INI2020)

"Nitrogen and the UN Sustainable Development Goals"

8th World Nitrogen Conference of the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI2020)

Due to the current situation, the INI 2020 will not take place as a physical event, but the conference itself will only be postponed. On 4.5.2020 you could be part of a curtain raiser event online. This means that the meeting point for scientists from all over the world will be moved to the internet.

Information about INI2020


The big stink: Europe’s lockdown uncovers a surprising source of air pollution

02 Apr 2020

As governments all over Europe take measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and road traffic slows down, people living in cities are experiencing fresher air. Yet the absence of diesel fumes is also exposing many urban dwellers to emissions they are not used to smelling: the one coming from the fields.





EU Commission to get tougher on air quality laggards – Fitness Check concludes

EEB press release

29 Nov 2019

The European Commission has published its conclusions on the Fitness Check of the EU Ambient Air Quality Directive, at the Clean Air Forum in Bratislava today. The Commission backs the importance of the Directive as a major driver for improving air quality across Europe and has urged Member States to step up implementation to protect people’s health.





Nature groups call for dialogue as Dutch farmers protests turn violent

17 Oct 2019

Farm protests have turned violent in the Netherlands after the Dutch government announced plans to cut harmful emissions from agriculture. Environmental groups have called for cooperation.





Air pollution: New figures reveal extent of problem, but ten governments failing to plan

EEB press release

16 Oct 2019

Poor air quality is putting our health at stake, reveals the European Environment Agency in a new report released today – but campaigners warn national action is still too little and too slow. Czechia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxemburg, Malta, Romania and Slovakia are failing to deliver crucial air pollution control plans.





Fields of pollution: agriculture’s surprising impact on urban air quality

10 Oct 2019

If you live in a European city, you probably feel the air gets too thick at times – and not without reason: 9 out of 10 Europeans living in cities breathe air which is harmful for their health. Urban air pollution can be suffocating, and as city dwellers we often find ourselves dreaming of a countryside escape, to take a breath of fresh air away from traffic fumes. What we don’t know is that a big share of the pollution that makes our air hard to breathe originates right there, in the fields.





International treaty takes off towards cleaner air

7 Oct 2019

The amended Gothenburg Protocol enters into force today, marking an important step towards protecting human health, ecosystems and the climate from dangerous pollutants.  

The protocol sets binding emission reduction targets for five air pollutants – sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, ammonia and fine particulate matter – to be achieved by 2020. Promoted by the United Nations, the protocol has been accepted by 19 parties, including the European Union, and 15 EU member states. 



Foodsharing Festival

800 people set an example against food waste

16-18 August 2019
Deutsche Umwelthilfe as part of the Clean Air Farming project attended and collected demands for better policies against food waste with the engaged participants. Furthermore, by participating in the panel discussion, we were able to share our political demands with the engaged audience and discuss with the experts* from Berliner Tafel, BMEL, German Food Industry and foodsharing.



Farming’s devastating impact on air pollution

The Bristol cable reveals lack of monitoring of dangerous ammonia emissions

15 July 2019

Ammonia emissions from farming are one of the most significant but least addressed sources of air pollution. Almost half of the ambient PM2.5 (the smallest and more dangerous type of particulate pollution) originates from farms, whose emissions are not monitored or regulated by the government. 

Adequate information and financial assistance are key to help farmers implement much needed measures to dramatically cut ammonia emissions and keep them under control.



Ammonia emissions from agriculture may hinder governments’ action on air pollution

29 June 2019

While emissions of most air pollutants are decreasing across the European Union, ammonia emissions from the agricultural sector continue to rise, and may hinder governments from meeting EU air pollution limits, warns the European Environment Agency. 

Ammonia emissions can also lead to increased acid depositions and excessive levels of nutrients in soil, rivers or lakes, which can harm aquatic ecosystems and cause damage to forests, crops and other vegetation.





The "waste fasting" campaign saves food

Several thousand people have actively participated in the "Verschwendungsfasten" campaign of Deutsche Umwelthilfe in recent weeks. We are proud of the support of numerous prominent ambassadors, bloggers, organizations and companies. They have all spread the word about our campaign and thus helped to increase the political pressure on the responsible Federal Minister Julia Klöckner and to make our demands heard. The campaign was widely reported in the media and thus also reached people who did not actively participate.
At the same time, over 57,000 people signed our petition against food waste. Together, we called on the Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, Julia Klöckner, to set an example against waste and to fast with us.


German government misses out on deadline for a national air pollution control programme

By the deadline of 1 April, the Federal Government had been unable to agree on a viable national air pollution control programme.

To protect human health and ecosystems, Germany must save 5 percent by 2020 and at least 29 percent ammonia by 2030. This also requires measures to reduce the precursor gas methane. Together with Bird Life Germany, we are therefore addressing Minister Svenja Schulze in an open letter and calling on the Federal Government to present an effective and ambitious package of measures as soon as possible.

Read our letter to Svenja Schulze